The FINANCIAL -- McDonald’s will open its 6th restaurant in Georgia in October a branch
in Batumi. Temur Chkonia, owner of Coca-cola Bottlers Georgia,
McDonald’s chain, and Georgia Palace Hotel (GPH) in Kobuleti, is
planning to expand the number of McDonald’s restaurants to 14 in total
Chkonia says that he invested EUR 3.4 million in the McDonald’s on Tsereteli Avenue, which was recently opened and has already attracted quite a significant number of customers. The cost of each restaurant is approximately the same. The businessman is planning the expansion of his other businesses as well, and all this with the support of Bank of Georgia .
“All the projects that we implement have a great influence on the society,” Temur Chkonia claims. “They change people and their mentality. Obtaining financing for such projects is not so easy in Georgia. Bank of Georgia is one of the few that finance projects worth several millions. Others might have more clients, but are less oriented on big corporate clients. We have a turnover of GEL 240 million at Bank of Georgia .”
Temur Chkonia opened a Coca-cola factory in Georgia in 1993. The businessman says that Coca-cola needed seven years to become popular with the Georgian society but it is now one of the most popular global brands successfully operating in this country. Turnover of Coca-cola Bottlers Georgia amounted to GEL 87 million in 2011. Annual production is 200 million bottles. About 1 percent of the product is exported to several countries including Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Before Coca-cola , Chkonia was producing lemonade. Later, when he started to expand his business in several directions, the need for financial support emerged. Bank of Georgia turned out to be the best option and the businessman has been cooperating with the Bank for ten years now.
“Bank of Georgia is always supporting my projects,” he explained. “Of course I always have a business plan. But I never concentrate too much on when exactly the investment will be covered. Bank of Georgia finances my business without any complicated procedures. The Bank issues a loan in a short period and without high interest rates. Bank of Georgia team has the same view as we do - they also appreciate projects which are foremost oriented on the advancement of the society and only after that on revenue.”
Apart from Tbilisi and Batumi, Chkonia plans to open McDonald’s restaurants in Rustavi, Telavi and other cities.
Bank of Georgia has supported not only McDonald’s restaurants, but his other businesses including Coca-cola and hotel development.
As one of his next projects, Chkonia is going to expand the infrastructure at the Georgia Palace Hotel in Kobuleti including creating a playground for children and adding another pool. . The businessman has invested USD 25 million so far in the development of the hotel which is known for its comfortable rooms, delicious menu and pleasing environment. The hotel was also built with the support of Bank of Georgia .
“This is one more example of how my business has an influence on the society and fulfils its dreams. I’m glad that Bank of Georgia was with me on this project as well,” he said.
“Before Georgia Palace Hotel, there was a sanatorium named Georgia on that same plot of land. It was one of the most prestigious holiday spots in the Soviet Union. Only important figures were able to stay in the hotel. When I was a little boy my mother and I used to spend our holidays in rented rooms. It was always my dream to stay in that sanatorium, and I used to secretly peer into the yard of the building.”
“It was a mysterious place to me. It was at that time that I promised myself that one day I would buy the sanatorium and let everyone have the opportunity to go there and enjoy their holidays. My dream came true when I bought the sanatorium at an auction. I have since built a new, modern hotel there and its doors are open to everyone. I got rid of absolutely everything old at the sanatorium and bought modern and comfortable furniture to decorate the place with after the renovation.”
Another GPH Hotel is to be opened in Tbilisi and one in Mestia. The 18-room hotel on Erekle Street in Tbilisi will open after 2014.
“Bank of Georgia will provide us financial support for these projects as well. The Bank never refuses to help me, even with the risky projects because they see that all my projects proved successful and had a positive influence on the society.”
It is noteworthy that Mr. Chkonia’s businesses are one of the largest taxpayers in the country. In 2011 GEL 47,383,000 was contributed to the budget and this year the taxes are expected to amount toGEL 50 million.